HONOLULU — A public-private partnership has pledged $1 million to create a Global Food Safety Fund. The fund, which was unveiled at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings in Honolulu, will be managed by the World Bank and will work to help more growers, producers and food safety officials to understand and use preventive controls.
“Food safety issues increasingly bear a major impact upon economics, public health and food security around the world,” said Sri Mulyani Indrawati, managing director of The World Bank. “Each impact has its own issues and consequences, and as the global economy becomes more interdependent, the impacts become heightened. The fund will raise awareness of the importance of food safety capacity building, develop policy and economic analysis, identify best practices and mobilize and target funding for activities worldwide.”
The establishment of the fund was made possible through money from the private sector, including a $500,000 commitment from Mars, Inc., as well as the U.S. Agency for International Development. Partners have a goal of committing $15 million to $20 million over the next decade.
“Together with the World Bank, Mars is proud to be a founding member of this much-needed initiative to expand knowledge and build capacity for further understanding of effective food safety management across the world,” said Frank Mars, president, Mars Symbioscience. “The global food supply chain is becoming increasingly integrated, food safety issues in developing countries now have a global reach and a global impact and there is a need for international cooperation and leadership.”
The fund will be based on a three-part model developed by the A.P.E.C. Food Safety Cooperation Forum that involves government, industry and academic partners to focus on supporting broad global food safety efforts through three pillars:
• Developing, testing and validating programs that will result in training modules for roll out in developing countries;
• Addressing high-priority food hazards, contaminants and pathogens;
• Strengthening analytics and metrics, including laboratory competency and the evaluation of the performance of food safety systems.
Other key players in the creation of the fund include the Grocery Manufacturers Association and Waters Corp.
“G.M.A. was honored to be a founding member of a unique partnership in A.P.E.C. that inspired the concept of the fund’s creation,” said Pamela Bailey, president and chief executive officer of the G.M.A. “In A.P.E.C. we brought together food safety regulators, multi-lateral institutions like the World Bank, academia and industry — stakeholders all focused on a common mission of improving food safety. Building on the landmark (memorandum of understanding) between the A.P.E.C. Food Safety Cooperation Forum and the World Bank signed in May 2011, the proposed fund will leverage A.P.E.C.’s unique food safety training programs together with World Bank international reach to help improve the safety of the global food supply — in A.P.E.C. economies and beyond.”